Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Trip To the Zoo with Marky Mae Brown

I had this past Friday off (summer hours, you know - what an invention) so I decided to take the opportunity to go to the Bronx Zoo to see their Madagascar exhibit, as it's running only through July 27th.

I'm going to Madagascar in October, y'all, in order to see one of the world's most incredible and unusual places before it is totally destroyed by slash and burn agriculture and human stupidity, so I wanted to see this exhibit as a taste of what was to come.

Well, let me tell you what - those lemurs are about the cutest fucking things I've ever seen. The way they leap, almost as if they're made of springs, from branch to branch is a wonder to watch.

Of course, since they're beautiful, awesome animals it's only logical that they're highly endangered. Only 10% - yes, you read that correctly - TEN PERCENT - of Madagascar's natural rainforest remains, and that is being depleted to this day. So I'm going to see it before it's gone.


Back to the zoo. I noticed when we arrived that there was also a Congo Gorilla exhibit. I wanted to see that as well, since the ASSHOLES in the Congo are illegally logging the Congo rainforest and slaughtering gorillas along the way, despite the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has its army in the rainforest to stop such acts.

The rampant crime and destruction happening in the Congo right now is as disgusting as anything else going on in the world. When people wake up to their actions, it will be too late - everything will be gone.

Gorillas. Who would kill one? Only a person devoid of any shred of humanity.

Meanwhile, in the exhibit, I naturally had to put up with the human detritus that makes up the general audience in such an attraction. Disinterested parents dragged their whining children, who would much rather have been home playing their Wiis, from one animal to another, saying dreary things like "Wow, he fat," or "damn, that nasty."

They retained absolutely nothing of what they saw, clutching their enormous plastic souvenir "sippy cups" to their chests because material goods are far more important than the beautiful animals that have been snatched from their homes for our "benefit."

And then a miracle happened. We were walking along in the Gorilla barn, watching a mother gorilla frolic with her two young'ns. She decided to stroll away from her children and came up closer to the glass, facing away from the crowd. Then she started to go to the bathroom.

"She poopin! She POOPIN!" a stupid woman started screaming. The gorilla placed its hand very carefully at the point of exit and was catching the green, fibrous turd as it slid forth.

"Ooh, perhaps we'll get to see it fling that at someone," I silently mused, noting that monkeys in general love throwing their shit at things that get on their nerves.

No such luck. As the shrieking dingbat woman, a very large group of tourists, losers and an overly-perfumed old woman in rhinestone glasses looked on, the gorilla took its freshly extracted turd and blithely placed it into its mouth, swallowing in one big bite, and then sauntered away.

One hungry gorilla.

Incontravertible proof that we are directly related to these gorillas. Her act of stupidity was about two steps down the evolutionary ladder from the acts of sheer ignorance and horror we unleash on a daily basis, only hers was an ecologically sound one - she was adhering to the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra.

And she managed to offend a very large group of assholes, for which I thank her profusely.

After this delightful show, we perambulated over to the Madagascar kiosk and enjoyed the lemurs, hissing cockroaches, fossas, sifakas, crocodiles, and tomato frogs.

I felt sad for the animals in their cages, though in hindsight I suppose they're better off than many. These gorillas and lemurs are getting pampered and served free food while their counterparts in the wild are struggling to survive at the greedy, idiotic hands of their distant cousins - us.

We fucking suck.

Lemur. Just look at that punim.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Marky Mae Brown Presents:

It is no secret that I am a hog. H-O-G, y'all.

And if it concerns sugar, dessert, extremely fattening ingredients, and all around superfluousness as far as nutrients or health are concerned, you can bet that I'm probably going to like it. My addiction to Krispy Kreme doughnuts is almost legendary; people in St. Petersburg still whisper to one another as I walk past them in Tyrone Square Mall about the time I ate - yes - four dozen donuts in ONE SITTING with my friend Wendy during a particularly rousing viewing of Female Trouble. Think I'm joking? Ask my mom.

But since, at least in theory, I no longer want to die, I have given up those pursuits and replaced them with healthier options. Where once was deep-fried dough covered in liquefied sugar now stands agave nectar, processed soy jizz, and any other number of ingredients that, when combined, create frozen non-dairy desserts.

I still remember the first time I tasted non-dairy "ice cream" - I was with my father at the Maas Brothers in downtown St. Pete for some unknown reason and there was a kiosk selling the new marvel known as Tofutti. This was around 1987, y'all, and I was as far from vegetarian as you could possibly imagine. I would have chased down and slaughtered a hog myself if I thought I could get a slab of bacon out of it. But that didn't stop me from trying Tofutti because I was a) an unrepentant Gobbles the Garbage-eating Goat, and b) outgoing and adventurous in my gluttony.

Well, I hated it. I took one taste of the beany, frozen whip that smirking asswipe behind the counter handed me and felt the need to pour gasoline down my throat and set it on fire to get the lingering horror of that bullshit away from my body, and I mean POSTHASTE.

But years have passed, and I've grown to love our mock-meat-and-dairy items, if only because they act as buffers for when I'm teetering on the verge of forgetting why I became Mr. Vegan in the first place - to help ease the suffering of our little forest, prairie, river, and farm friends. It starts with one person, y'all, and as long as I'm not dependent on the pus-laden drippings of another species' teats, then perhaps I'm saving one vache (as they say in France) from being tormented by some cunt farmer.

Meanwhile, where non-dairy frozen desserts lack animal ingredients, they have a bounty of calories and fat grams, so I try to indulge moderately. In moderation. This used to mean for me eating only ONE tub of it a day instead of two, but I've calmed down a bit and try to steer clear. However, I've wanted to do a taste test of various brands for quite some time to see where they stack up.

Huzzah! That finally came to pass. And it coincided with SWAYZE NATION: that's right, a celebration of Non-dairy Desserts coupled with an evening dedicated to Mr. Patrick Swayze, everyone's favorite mullet-haired action hero / dancer. I invited several friends over to participate, I being the only vegetarian of the group (I don't know many vegetarians up in this piece, y'all - the one who DID say he was going to turn vegetarian after watching "I Am an Animal" and witnessing the true horror that animals go through at the hands of man - well, he pussied out after being tempted by, of all things, RIBS. Faggot.)

Let's meet our judges:

  • Marky Mae Brown - drooling idiot

  • Beccers - a precious angel shot down from heaven

  • Fuddles La Roux - a kid from Florida - investigate cheunh

  • Uuaq - an avid collector of spiders and scissors

  • Ms. Mina - yoga enthusiast and sass master

  • Ja Qui Qui - Ya busca todavia el huevero

  • We (well, I) decided to focus first on vanilla, so we could see how various brands' basic flavor stacked up before we branched out into swankier, more complicated things.

    All of us settled around the table, I gave each member of the Swayze Nation Vegan Frozen Desserts Team (SNVFDT) several slips of paper, a pen, a cup, and a spoon. Then I commenced to dump, brand by brand, frozen non-dairy desserts into their cups, allowing them time to react and to write down their impressions.

    These were not just soy-based desserts! We had soy, coconut, rice, and cashew-based frozen desserts. We were well-rounded in our pursuits.

    Spoons in hand, we sat back, tasted the fuck out of some frozen desserts, enjoyed some, were horrified by others, and watched Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey grind their crotches together in your personal favorite film and mine, Dirty Dancing.

    Here, then, is Part One of the First Annual Swayze Nation Vegan Frozen Dessert Taste Test - and the brand is:

    Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Very Vanilla

    The packaging looks like a pamphlet you would pick up at a KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS kiosk, but I'm a sucker for hippie shit, so I found that attractive. I snatched this little bastard up with relish and couldn't wait to read the judges' reactions.

    Uuaq: "Like everything made of rice, you just can't escape it - asian grain taint. 'Snap, Crackle and Pop' circle-jerked into my mouth. Texture - ehh."

    Ja Qui Qui: "Tastes like sweet barley malt. Too sweet. This would be a huge hit in an asian supermarket."

    Fuddles La Roux: "Smells like a whiff of mothballs. Taste - none. And I mean NONE. Texture - hippie afterbirth. Overall - Wookiee ass."

    Ms. Mina: "Looks nasty. Color is off-putting. Some kind of weird aspartame aftertaste. Tastes sweet, but not like vanilla. Frozen mushed rice?"

    Marky Mae Brown: "Foamy, not-unpleasant ricey flavor - not gross, not spectacular."

    Beccers: "Tastes like Earth Day. This is why I can't do non-dairy frozen desserts. Tastes like a hippie."

    All that joy with only 150 calories per serving and 7 grams of fat! Mmm-mmm!

    Although not spectacular, I have to admit that as soon as my guests were gone, I opened this motherfucker back up and ate the entire container til that shit was empty, and then wanted some more.

    Next time - Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean!

    We had the time of our lives, y'all.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    When we're kids, we're inundated with humanized animals in cute outfits and zany situations. Stories about Mrs. Chicken and Peppy the Turtle teach us how to be our best, that we should be true to ourselves. They show us morals, they prove to us that you CAN overcome adversity. Animals talk, they cry, they love each other, they raise their children to be better.

    We get children emotionally attached to these animals, then we bash their heads in and teach children to eat their friends.

    "Mrs. Chicken saved the henhouse and all the eggs from Mr. Fox so you can cut her head off and eat her legs and her babies," you might as well tell wailing imps as they plead for Mrs. Chicken's life.

    That shit is fucked up.

    Anyone remember that movie, The Lion King? Simba the Lion is stripped of his rightful place in the order of animals by his scheming uncle, only to learn that he has the power within him to overcome evil and take his place as leader of the Pride?

    Simba was the symbol for an entire generation of kids. To this day, Simba's internal struggle inspires children to be their best. You'd think that the so-called "king of beasts" would be safe from the Happy Meal treatment, but alas, he is not.

    What would you do if you went into a restaurant and were perusing the menu for a delectable appetizer only to come across this word - LION. Would you think, "Surely that's just a cute name for this concoction," or "who are they kidding? No one in their right mind would actually eat that shit, would they?"

    Well, guess what. If you walk into The South Philadelphia Tap Room (obviously in Philadelphia), you can actually order LION. Yes, LION. In a fucking puff pastry.

    You know the type of asshole who thinks consuming this is okay - fat, dumb fucks like that turd from Bizarre Foods, one of the most horrifying programs I have EVER watched in my life. They're snotty 'gourmands' who think that if it's esoteric and expensive, they HAVE to try it.

    (I have watched Bizarre Foods once. ONE TIME. And in the 36 seconds that the program was allowed to be on my television, I saw that bloated assfuck eat a frog that had, live, been RIPPED IN HALF and turned inside out by a Japanese "chef." He then consumed some sort of dried newt beverage. I almost vomited. That image is emblazened on my brain. No animal should have to go through something like that so a pompous shithead can say he's "tried everything." That disgusting, slobbering asswipe should be stripped of his clothing and dropped into a pen of wild animals so they can have a sample of some of HIS flanks. I hate his guts.)

    This South Philadelphia Tap Room - my friend The Vegan Poutine Lover pointed it out to me yesterday, and is as horrified as I am that it is allowed to serve lion.

    Lions, of course, are endangered animals. Not only are they endangered animals, they are beautiful animals. They deserve more than to end up in a god damn puff pastry so some stupid piece of shit can feel trendy while he "watches the game" in a fucking pub.

    Vegan Poutine Lover called this place. It turns out these lions are raised specifically so fuckmouths can turn them into puff pastries. Who ever heard of such a thing? It's gross enough that turtles, cows, ducks, chickens, buffalo, and all other livestock have to suffer such a fate.

    Lions. Who is fucked up enough to raise lions for meat? Who is fucked up enough to want to BUY lion meat to sell in a restaurant in Philadelphia - and who the hell is so devoid of any sense of decency as to actually ORDER lion meat?

    Imagine a kid raised loving Simba going to that restaurant and seeing his or her shithead parents ordering the Lion Medallions.

    I'm pulverized by this latest thing, I really am. Just when I think humans can go no lower in their quest to destroy the animal kingdom, I find out shit like this.

    I beseech you to call (215.271.SPTR (7787)) or email this restaurant at to voice your thorough and complete disgust that they would reduce Simba and his friends to a fucking puff pastry. While you're at it, tell them that bull testicles belong on the bull, not in people's stomachs.

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    More sad news to report.

    I have just been to a divine lunch at Wild Ginger Pan Asian Vegan Cafe on Broome Street with my friends Gina and Lea, both vegan, visiting from Washington, D.C.

    Gina and I both had the black pepper seitan and Lea had the sweet citrus soy protein. An all around fabulous meal. Then I suggested we waddle up Broome St. to Babycakes, a famous vegan bakery. I had never been there, and I know that Gina loves to try anything vegan, so over there we went, ready to get our vegan groove on with some fly-ass baked goods.

    I purchased three things: a piece of chocolate crumb cake, a vanilla spelt flour agave-sweetened cupcake, and a chocolate agave-sweetened cupcake.

    Now, I was very excited about these things. Agave-sweetened items don't give you that horrid sugar crash you get after you eat things sweetened in other ways, and agave, when used PROPERLY, sweetens just as effectively as sugar.

    Well, I ran screaming back to my office, ready to bite into the infectious goodies that countless people have said, "You simply MUST try," so that I could finally say, "Yes, I have eaten a Babycakes cake and YES - it is everything everyone says it is. Pure HEAVEN."

    So up the elevator I went, rounding the bend, slamming my door, getting out my fork (I wash and reuse it and y'all can fuck off if you think that's gross - I'm not just doing it for me, I'm doing it for YOU) and stabbed it into that gorgeous-looking crumb cake that was drizzled in glistening and alluring chocolate sauce.

    Nothing. Where was the flavor? Sure it was moist and delightfully-textured, but this thing - it was like taking a bite of air. No flavor. And when I say NO flavor, I mean NONE. No detectable chocolate flavor, even in the sauce. I begrudgingly ate it because it cost about as much as a new car, but damn.

    Then we moved on to the chocolate cupcake. Remember when you were a kid playing in the sandbox and accidentally got some in your mouth? That was the consistency of this little motherfucker. Dry, dry, dry. Arid. Like the desert, this cupcake was. And its taste was about as pleasant as sticking one of those 9-volt batteries on your tongue. Feh. I couldn't get through it.

    So now we moved on to the vanilla - perhaps there was some saving grace for this place. Alas... the vanilla was just as bland and dry as the chocolate. The icing's consistency was akin to mayonnaise and there was an otherworldly toxic aftertaste to the entire thing. An all-out downer, that's what this vanilla cupcake was.

    And yet there was a huge line of people in there clamoring to get their hands on these undigestable comestibles. Are they erroneously assuming that because it's vegan it has to taste gross, allowing themselves to eat crap because they think it's healthier?

    Because I can assure you from personal experience that vegan baked goods do NOT have to taste like the way a vitamin store smells. They have the ability to taste just as good as their dairy and egg-laden counterparts. I've baked them myself - I know.

    Babycakes - thumbs down, y'all. Steer clear.

    Rice Yogurt = CRAP

    A friend of mine told me recently that she was considering going vegan but was addicted to yogurt and therefore was struggling with the idea of dropping that one particular item from her daily existence. Now, as someone who has had to give up addictions to Diet Coke, McDonald's Extra Value Meal #4s, American Spirits cigarettes, booze of any variety, and other things best not discussed in a publick forum, I understand her struggle very, very well.

    "What about soy yogurt?" I ask. "Many companies make soy yogurt, complete with them fly-ass probiotics that make yogurt the miracle elixir that is is, and then you don't have to worry about suckling at the teat of an animal from which we should not be suckling."*

    "I've tried them," she replies despondently. "The problem is, I don't like soy."

    Soy, to me, is a miracle food - a wonder of the plant kingdom that allows me the freedom from carving up bunnies and turtles and cows and frogs and chickens. If it is available in the animal kindgom, there's a soy substitute. I know it doesn't taste the same, and that it's pretty ridiculous for someone to want "meat substitutes" - but fuck off. As the Human League says, "I'm only human - of flesh and blood I'm made. Human - born to make mistakes." Since I was raised cramming bacon, ham, bologna, franks, olive and pimento loaf, hoagies, sausage, and steak down my throat multiple times a day, it doesn't bother me to eat soy products fashioned after these items. Hippie comfort food, we call it.

    Meanwhile, my friend won't partake. As I am all about helping people cease their addiction to animal-based products, I try to help her come up with a solution to her conundrum - and then I remember that there is a RICE YOGURT on the market.

    And as I was in the neighborhood last night after a VERY refreshing meeting at DC Comics, I decided to perambulate the streets of midtown over to my all-time favorite health food store, Westerley Health Foods on 54th and 8th.

    Yes, I picked up some Ms. Lil's while I was there, and another special product that has changed my life and will be reported on in a separate post because it is just about the best fucking shit I have EVER eaten - even beating out Ms. Lil's, but I also picked up a container of plain, simple vanilla Ricera yogurt. I figured I'd try it and give her a report of my findings.

    The container is hyper-eco-friendly. The paper is affixed with a little glue dot, and there is a perforation running along the side so one can detach and recycle the paper separately from the plastic container. The top is a pull-tab piece of aluminum, also recyclable separately. This is all very lovely since, although yogurt containers are, in theory recyclable, most sanitation departments do not include them in their lists of items that citizens can place in their recycling bins. Why, I don't know, but that's just the way it is.

    This shit's got 180 calories and only one gram of fat - not too terrible, but more than soy yogurt.

    All right, so I pull back the top and inhale. It smells like vanilla. No tragedies so far. And then I take a bite. Turns out pulling the aluminum top off that container was like lifting the lid on a toilet that hasn't been flushed for about three weeks.

    All I can tell you is that it's about as pleasant as eating a zit. That's right - this shit is fucking repulsive. Grainy, mucus-like in consistency, just plain foul. I would rather eat skidmarks than place this in my mouth EVER AGAIN. After two bites (the first was too shocking to register), I dump this crap right into my compost bucket and wish I could remove the vulgar aftertaste from my mouth.

    My taste test a complete and utter failure, I just hope that some company somewhere creates another variety of yogurt for potential vegans who rely on yogurt for their daily happiness. With all of the miracle products released these days made from raw cashews, one would think that could be a possibility, but we'll just have to see.

    Steer clear of this Ricera nonsense unless you enjoy balls-out misery. This shit sucks.

    * If you're a vegan - run screaming in the opposite direction from Stonyfield Farm's O'Soy yogurt. It's got milk in it. Why they'd bother making soy yogurt and then putting milk in it is beyond me, but I was HORRIFICALLY surprised after placing a spoonful of that bullshit in my mouth and then reading the ingredients list (that'll teach me!).

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    Riding Wildfire

    Why do we continue to believe that we are the keepers of all animals and can do with them whatever we want?

    They're not here for our amusement, they're not here for our benefit. They're here for the same reason we are - to live out whatever lives they have. They're not supposed to be crammed into cages, have vacuums applied to their teats to suck out sustenance they wouldn't be producing if we didn't keep them artificially impregnated, turned into purses or iPod cases, have their skins ripped off and turned into some tacky vest for a moronic hip hop star to wear to prove his monetary worth.

    No, no, no, no, no.

    They are here to be left the fuck alone to sip at rivulets and frolic in the green grass and take naps under trees and root around in other animals' dung and fly and scamper and crawl and do whatever else it is that they do do when we're not trying (and generally succeeding) to tamper with and destroy their livelihoods.

    So, why is it that governments continue to think that they have animals' "best interests" in mind, feeling that they are in control of populations of wild beasts who are lucky enough not to be trapped in the misery and decay that is the ability to "reason"? (Think how amazing this world would be if people actually DID use their brains in the way they were intended - none of these shenanigans would be going on right now, that's for sure.)

    First we have the ASSHOLE government of South Africa saying that it's going to open up its elephant population, including babies, for hunting because the herds are too large and are unsustainable. Then we have the U.S. government taking wolves off the endangered species list, immediately allowing tobacco-chewing rednecks to drive their bullshit trucks out into the wilderness and blow up these animals who weren't doing one fucking thing except minding their own business.

    Now, in yet another egregious example of how grotesque the human race actually is, we have this trinket of news:

    Federal officials are considering euthanizing wild horses to deal with the growing population on the range and in holding facilities, authorities said Monday.
    You know what? Don't diss those ponies.

    You want to euthanize a population that is growing too quickly? Start with all of these fat, useless turds who are waddling around gobbling up resources in the form of Fritos and hot dog buns, 9,000 different brands of the exact same cereal, and Hostess Cupcakes, wasting their existences sitting their god damn asses in front of the television watching America's Next Top Model and American Idol. THAT is a population that should be cut in half.

    You want to protect public lands? Euthanize the douches who INSIST that we need to drill every single possible piece of "untampered-with" land for oil.

    Ponies - they're not doing one fucking thing that is detrimental to anyone. They don't need to have their populations "managed."

    Manage the fatasses. Leave the horses alone.